Home > Trip > Dispatches > Local Dispatches > Local Dispatch #81

February 27, 2012: Rocky

For a year now, Jon Katz has been writing about Rocky, an older appaloosa who lives alone in a large pasture. Rocky is blind, 30-ish--a month ago, his owner, an older woman, passed on.

Katz’s take on Rocky’s situation has always been one of detachment. He strongly identifies with Rocky, and has been talking about the horse’s lot in life in relation to his own. I am unsure as to just how bad off Rocky is, because Katz’s information (which has taken the form of photos and words) has been contradictory. Early on, he posted photos of the horse standing next to a collapsed

Rocky <http://www.bedlamfarm.com/>

barn. There was no pasturage or water in sight, and the horse was standing beside the wreckage. He later posted photos in which Rocky was grazing in a large field.

The other day, Katz said that Rocky has adequate shelter. Katz has not told his readers who now cares for Rocky, or if he’s getting hay and water on a daily basis. For sure, Rocky does not have a companion to keep him company.

The horse person in me is starting to get annoyed. Huh. I’ve just identified myself as a horse person – that is as someone who has a strong interest in horse welfare. Sure, Rocky is in the twilight of his years (I like this term; it was once used to describe an aging pope.) But this doesn’t mean that Rocky isn’t entitled to the best of care, is this what’s lacking?

Katz has previously taken on rescue dogs and a rescue donkey. So why is he balking about taking on this horse? He lives on a 70-acre farm and could fence off an area for Rocky. The horse would then be assured access to food and water. Rocky would also be assured access to human companionship.

All this begs the question, what do we as human beings owe horses like Rocky? My answer is that those who have the time, money, knowledge, and space should step up to the plate and in a manner of speaking, swing the bat.

We have no rescue animals here—the chickens, goats, horses, and dogs were well-cared for before we acquired them. And I’m not going to take any more on. In addition to lacking the above, we lack something else that would also be necessary – hired help. Still, I take note when I see instances in which others could do what I cannot.

I can’t help but wonder about the underlying reasons behind Katz’s photographic and writerly obsession with Rocky. It’s appearing to me as though this is form of literary and artistic self-promotion. This whole deal has got animal people talking. Like many other people, I’m thinking – commit Jon, commit. If not for your own, do it for Rocky’s sake.

82. 2/28/12: Peacemeal